Monday, October 13, 2008

Riffs: The Boy in the Bubble


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Over the years I made dozens of ninety-minute audio tape mixes which I now play in my car on the way to and from work every day. This morning the second song that came up was Paul Simon's The Boy in the Bubble from the album Graceland, released well over 20 years ago. As I listened with the pleasure Paul Simon tunes always give me, I couldn't help noticing how appropriate the song's opening stanza and chorus are to the world we live in today:


It was a slow day

And the sun was beating

On the soldiers by the side of the road

There was a bright light

A shattering of shop windows

The bomb in the baby carriage

Was wired to the radio


These are the days of miracle and wonder

This is the long distance call

The way the camera follows us in slo-mo

The way we look to us all

The way we look to a distant constellation

That's dying in a corner of the sky

These are the days of miracle and wonder

And don't cry baby, don't cry

Don't cry


Well, okay. Go ahead--cry if you want. WTF.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

He was a mean individual
He had a heart like a bone
He was a naturally crazy man
And better off left alone
Well he stopped one night
At a traffic light
And when that light turned green
He was a mean individual
Stranded in a Limousine

Hey hey hey hey
All the children in the street
They come running out their front door
Running out their back doors
Flying on their feet
They said Mama oh Papa oh
See what I have seen
Theres a mean individual stranded in a Limousine

Then everybody came running
Everybody said Lord Lord
Everbody was gunning
Theyre gonna divy up the reward
And then wah wah wah wah wah wha wah
With a siren and a flashing light
But the mean individual
He vanished in the black of night

Hey hey hey hey
They wondered where to begin
Cause he left that neighborhood
Just like the rattlesnake sheds its skin
Well then they searched the roofs
And they checked out the groups
And they photographed the scene
For the mean individual
Stranded in a Limousine

Then everybody came running
Everybody said Lord Lord
Everbody was gunning
Theyre gonna divy up the reward
And then wah wah wah wah wah wha wah
With a siren and a flashing light
But the mean individual
He vanished in the black of night

The mean individual
He vanished in the black of night

The mean individual
He vanished in the black of night

Rodak said...

I have just had the memory that it was The Boy in the Bubble that was playing on the radio of the rental car as I pulled out into traffic on York Avenue, to begin the long drive to Ohio, on the day we exiled ourselves from NYC. Poignant.